Australia cranks up fight against COVID-19 with two new drugs

Highlights

  • The Australian Government is making significant progress in the National Plan to Transition Australia’s COVID-19 response.
  • The government is set to receive Roche Products’ COVID-19 antibody-based therapy, Ronapreve.
  • Ronapreve is an amalgam of two monoclonal antibodies – Casirivimab and Imdevimab that block infectivity of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
  • The federal government has also secured access to Pfizer’s COVID-19 oral antiviral drug.

The Australian Government is persistently working to make the country safe for its citizens with more effective COVID-19 treatments. Alongside, the government is expanding its vaccination drive to strengthen its battle against the virus. Both the measures are being taken forward rigorously in response to manage the COVID-19 outbreak.

In a latest development, the federal government has successfully secured access to two more COVID-19 treatments, following expert medical advice. The move indicates the significant progress in the National Plan to Transition Australia’s COVID-19 response.

Ronapreve blocks infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 virus

Ronapreve is a COVID-19 antibody-based therapy that is designed to block infectivity of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. With Ronapreve, there have been results reflecting reduction in the risk of hospitalisation and mortality by nearly 70% in patients with confirmed COVID-19.

Ronapreve is expected to be targeted for use in unvaccinated people who are at risk of developing severe disease.

COVID-19 treatment in Australia

Image source: © Akesin | Megapixl.com

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A total of 15,000 doses of Ronapreve will be supplied to Australia from Roche Products Pty Ltd. The initial supply is likely to be made available through the first shipment of 5,000 doses by the end of October. It will be held in the National Medical Stockpile.

This COVID-19 treatment requires advice from the National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce and regulatory approval by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

Pfizer’s COVID-19 oral antiviral drug

This COVID-19 oral antiviral treatment is still undergoing clinical trials. It will be used in combination with the protease inhibitor drug ritonavir, subject to regulatory approval by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

The treatment will reduce the severity of illness in adults who contract or have been exposed to COVID-19.

Under the arrangement with Pfizer, 500,000 treatment courses of the oral antiviral drug are expected to be delivered during 2022.     

ALSO READ: Good news for Aussies, at-home COVID-19 tests coming soon

Bottom Line

The procurement of these two new treatments will help battle COVID-19 in Australia. The new supply will further aid the country’s vaccination drive as Australia battles the third wave.

Meanwhile, authorities should continue to focus on implementing health measures such as maintaining social distancing and mask wearing.

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